Suzuki Alto F AGS

Suzuki Alto Review: “It is perhaps the world’s best automated transmission at present” by Yoichi Moroboshi

Suzuki Motor Corporation introduced the first generation kei-car Alto in 1979. The new model released last year is the eighth generation of the long-selling model.

The test drive vehicle F is a model equipped with an Automated Transmission called Auto Gear Shift (AGS) was provided. AGS allows automatic transmission based on the MT gear box unlike typical ATs. The mechanism is simple, the hydraulics machinery mounted on the gear box works with the clutch and gear operation of the driver.

This system is used in many models worldwide. However, the Alto’s AGS performs extremely well. Since the AGS has the same structure as the MT, the acceleration feel is lost the moment the clutch is stopped when changing gears. How will it shorten its time and smoothly get rid of the shock when connecting again to the clutch? It is possibly related to qualities of the AGS. In addition, all good qualities of the Alto AGS are without any stress. One of the reasons it has a good match with the AGS is the lighter vehicle weight.

There is somewhat of a jolting feel when in full acceleration. The same is felt when manipulating an ordinary MT. The jolting feel is not that strong because it is set like an MT. The good part about the AGS Alto is it created a creep phenomenon. The vehicle advances forward when the brake pedal is released while it is in a half-clutch mode, the same way as normal ATs. However, the creep does not occur due to the torque converter like in common ATs. Therefore, it is necessary to be careful because it could lead to clutch troubles if it is mishandled. An example of a problematic situation is making use of the creep on a hill then suddenly stopping.

The engine equipped in the AGS model is a three-cylinder with 52 hp/6.4kgm VVT. The vehicle weights 610kg and its running performance is fast. The JC08 mode gas mileage is 29.6km/liter compared to the 37.0km/liter that the common ATs have. However, the actual gas mileage of the AGS model comes with a different story, because there is a difference in the set F grade such as the idling stop not being attached. The F grade is a model with various simplified equipment. The price of 847,800 yen for the vehicle body alone is reasonable. Its value is the same at the 5MT.

â– Five Star Rating
Packaging: ★★★★
Interior/comfort: ★★★★
Power Source★★★
Footwork: ★★★
Recommendation: ★★★★★

Yoichi Moroboshi | Motor Journalist

He became a freelance journalist at age 23 after working as an editor for an automotive magazine. He competed in races like the Fuji Freshman series in his late 20s for seven years. He does motorsports photography and works as a photojournalist. His hobby is cooking.

(Translated by Natassia Jeronne D. Martinez)